Symantec has just rolled out Norton Mobile Security 3.0, a major update to its mobile security software which adds a first-time iOS client for Apple iPhones and iPads, crossplatform backup and location tracking from a single Web site, and new safeguards for Android OS devices against mobile adware ("madware").
The iOS client is not yet equivalent to the existing Norton client for Android devices, said Dave Kim, senior product manager, in a briefing for Brighthand. "It's only a subset," he acknowledged, pointing to "physical limitations" on iPhones and iPads as one reason why.
Yet the initial support for Apple's iPhones and iPads is part of a longer-term strategy for multi-device production, according to Kim. "To provide security, we must move from being connected to a single device, to being connected to a user, [and from being] an application to [being] a service, on all personal devices simultaneously," he said.
Under a new pricing model, users will pay $30 for a single license supporting both Android and iOS. "To prevent abuse, there's a device limit. The limit is ten devices right now," said Kim.
Earlier on, Norton Mobile Security brought together protections for Android devices that include malware detection and removal; safeguards against phishing sites; blocking of unwanted calls and text messages; and the ability to lock down or wipe the phone or tablet remotely in case of theft.
New Protections for Android OS and iOS Devices
In the new Norton Mobile Security 3.0, the Android client gets new madware protections, along with a new user interface (UI) designed to resemble the new iOS client and enhanced antitheft capabilities that include the ability to manage location, lockdown, wipe and scream features from a new centralized Web portal.
Through the scream feature, you can sound an audible alarm on a lost or stolen device, even if the volume on the device is turned off, said Kim.
The new iOS client also offers some anti-theft protection for iPhones and iPads, although without the wipe or scream, at this point, anyway.
The iOS client "pinpoints your lost or stolen iPhone or iPad on a map to help you find it fast," he contended.
As with Android smartphones and tablets, the app lets you remotely display the last ten locations of the iPhone or iPad on a new cloud-based Norton Mobile Security portal.
Also through the new portal, users can now backup contact info across iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. "You can restore across platforms: iOS to Android, or vice versa," he said.
Madware Sends Annoying Alerts
These madware-laden apps can take over your ringtones, according to Kim. "They also send annoying alert notifications and obtrusive text messages," he added. An alert might show up in your notification bar, or it could make a noise. Kim theorized that the creators of this madware get paid per click when you click on an ad and are brought to a Web site.
Earlier this month, Symantec's Internet security rival McAfee released McAfee All Access 2013, a new edition on its crossplatform offering which also adds simplified cloud-based management of supported devices. Like Norton Mobile Security 3.0, All Access 2013 supports Android OS smartphones and tablets. Unlike Norton Mobile Security, All Access also supports Windows PCs, Macs, and BlackBerry mobile devices, but it doesn't yet support Apple iPhones and iPads.
Meanwhile, Symantec's free Norton Online Family Service for Windows PCs and Macs now allows parental monitoring of kids' use of mobile apps, Web sites and text messaging on both iOS and Android devices, through the use of Safety Minder apps for iOS as well as Android.
Symantec supports PCs and Macs through products like Norton AntiVirus and Norton 360. Norton One adds Android devices to the crossplatform mix.
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